BOSTON – Aug. 31, 2018 – The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) today announced it will illuminate the reality of food insecurity in Eastern Massachusetts throughout the month of September in observance of Hunger Action Month. As the largest hunger-relief organization in New England, GBFB aims to raise awareness and funds by mobilizing people to take action to end hunger here during the month-long campaign.
Both Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh have issued proclamations declaring September as Hunger Action Month in the state of Massachusetts and Thursday, Sept. 13 as Hunger Action Day in the City of Boston, respectively. Boston City Council President will present a Hunger Action Day resolution to the full Council on Sept. 13 as well. The public is encouraged to get involved to support GBFB’s mission to end hunger here through different ways including:
EMPTY PLATE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN FOR HUNGER ACTION MONTH
On Sept. 1, in partnership with Feeding America®, GBFB will launch a month-long social media campaign asking participants to describe on a downloadable empty plate what they can’t do on an empty stomach (“On an empty stomach, I can’t__________”), and then post photos with the following hashtags and tags: #HungerActionMonth, #EndHungerHere, @gr8BosFoodBank, @Feeding America.
HUNGER ACTION DAY – SEPT. 13
• JOIN US ON BOSTON CITY HALL PLAZA
o Join GBFB, Citizens Bank and hunger advocates across Boston on City Hall Plaza from 1 – 4 p.m. to raise awareness for Hunger Action Day. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. to inaugurate GBFB’s newly branded 28-foot refrigerated trucks, donated by Citizens Bank, that together can hold up to 44,000 healthy meals at a time. Citizens Bank has been a longstanding partner of GBFB and supports more than 30 programs across its footprint to fight hunger as part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger initiative. Stop by for giveaways, including $5 gift cards from Daily Table, one of GBFB’s partner agencies. Open to the public.
• TURN BOSTON ORANGE FOR HUNGER ACTION DAY
o On Hunger Action Day, Sept. 13, local Boston landmarks including the Prudential Center, Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, Boston City Hall, Boston Harbor Hotel, Atlantic Wharf and more will be lit up the color orange—the symbolic color of hunger.
• FEDERAL CALL-IN DAY AGAINST HUNGER
o The Greater Boston Food Bank, in partnership with Feeding America and Massachusetts’ hunger-relief organizations, will hold a National Call-in Day to activate supporters to call their representatives in Congress and urge them to advocate for a strong 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, which includes programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), also known as food stamps. To become an advocate, go to gbfb.org/advocate.
“This marks the eleventh year of Hunger Action Month–a nationwide effort asking people to take on hunger in their communities in whatever way they can,” said Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank. “Nearly 500,000 people in Eastern Massachusetts are food insecure and don’t know where their next meal is coming from. During September, we are asking people to think about what it feels like to have an empty stomach.”
Food insecurity exists in every county in Eastern Massachusetts and in the entire U.S., according to “Map the Meal Gap 2017,” the latest report by Feeding America®, a nationwide network of 200 U.S. food banks. Overall, the food insecurity rate in Eastern Massachusetts is one in 11, and one in nine children live in food-insecure households. Statewide, the food insecurity rate is one in 10. In the United States, one in eight people is food insecure.
Hunger Action Month is a national awareness campaign by Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks across the country. For more information about Hunger Action Month, participating events, how to advocate for hunger policies and the social media campaign, please visit gbfb.org/hungeractionmonth.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides the equivalent of 50 million healthy meals annually, distributed through its network of 526-member food pantries, meal programs and shelters across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month in its goal to create a hunger-free Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank) and Instagram, or call us at 617.427.5200.